Damian was first introduced to flamenco in the late 90s, when his love of guitar led him to a show in Vicar St by a group of visiting Spanish artists. Although it was the guitar that originally drew his interest, it was the emotion and intensity of the singing and the passion and energy of the dancing that left the greatest impression. He was able to draw many parallels between the cante of flamenco and the sean nós singing of Irish tradition, but for the dance he had no comparison; it was unlike anything he had ever seen.
Many years later he was re-introduced to flamenco and began to take a more active interest, taking classes in cajón, guitar and ultimately dance. What began as a hobby has since become so much more. In 2007 he co-founded Dublin-based flamenco group Sólo Flamenco, who taught and performed in Dublin and at various festivals across Ireland in their two years of existence. The following year he travelled to Jerez de la Frontera for the city's annual flamenco festival, something which has now become a staple of his annual calendar.
In July of 2009, Damian and co-director Nathalie Moyano founded Peña Flamenca El Indalo, a non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing flamenco in Ireland. In the intervening years he and Nathalie have worked tirelessly to raise flamenco's profile in Ireland through a concerted programme of education and entertainment.
"With a complex artform like flamenco, so steeped in its own tradition and history" says Damian, "the more an audience understands, the more enjoyment they will take from a show. One of the peña's main objectives is helping people to appreciate the beauty of flamenco."